Sport Integrity Forum
The Sorbonne-ICSS Research Programme on Ethics and Sport Integrity confirms previous findings, reveals new aspects of the threat and outlines urgent recommendations as final report entitled “Fighting against the Manipulation of Sports Competitions” is published.
“The situation is not getting any better. There is now an urgent need for effectivecooperation and especially concrete initiatives based on scientific findings. Our common aim is to save the integrity of sport. ” - Pr. Laurent Vidal (Chairman of the Sorbonne-ICSS Research Programme on Ethics and Sports Integrity)
“The Sorbonne-ICSS Report is a crucial first step in understanding the complex relationship between the sinister phenomenon of sports betting fraud and the more publically reprehensible and visible manipulation of sporting competitions. ” – Chris Eaton (Executive Director Sport Integrity, International Centre for Sport Security)
Key findings of the report:
• Sticking to the public sources (Interpol, Europol, police forces and judicial institutions, regulators, betting operators or operators tasked with monitoring the market), between 300 and 700 sporting events worldwide are suspected of being manipulated;
• 80 to 90% of fixed matches worldwide are linked to sports bets
• 80% of sports bets worldwide are illegal (with 53% in Asia);
• The money laundered by organised crime through sports bets is estimated at between 100 and 140 billion USD per year;
An inventory of the situation reveals the extent of the problem
In May 2014, thanks to the research efforts of 80 international research experts, the Sorbonne-ICSS Research Programme on Ethics and Sport Integrity published alarming figures illustrating the threat posed by the manipulation of sports competitions on the sustainability of sport. These were the initial findings of the Sorbonne-ICSS Report entitled “Fighting against the Manipulation of Sports Competitions”.
2014: a dark year for Sports Integrity?
Despite the warnings highlighted at the Sorbonne-ICSS Sport Integrity Forum, the trend is not getting any better:
• 2014 witnessed a significant increase in the reporting of suspected or established cases of manipulation of sports competitions. This number is estimated between 300 and 700 worldwide, which still does not reflect the true reality and scale of manipulated competitions in sport, since a large part of match-fixing activities are not detected by the existing monitoring tools.
• The amounts in play are constantly increasing.
• The manipulation of sports competitions is affecting new sports e.g. Badminton and Basketball
• The financial circuits through which organised crime launders money coming from the manipulation of sports competitions, whether or not linked to sports bets, are becoming increasingly sophisticated
Moreover, despite the phenomenon of match-fixing and corruption in sport not being new, investigations and criminal or disciplinary sanctions against athletes involved in cases of manipulation of sporting events has increased.
The most recent examples concern France, Denmark. Spain, Georgia, Latvia, Norway, Poland, the United Kingdom, Nicaragua, El Salvador, China, Hong Kong, Laos, South Africa, Zimbabwe.
International cooperation between sport bodies, governments and betting regulators and operators is yet to be organised.
Governments and countries: the beginning of a greater awareness of the threats posed by the manipulation of competitions on their public order
Given the increasing number of cases of manipulation, governments and countries have begun to acknowledge the threat posed to their public order by the manipulation of sports competitions and to adopt preventive and repressive measures accordingly.
The most recent examples:
• United Kingdom: The English Football Federation has banned all players, club members and officials from placing sports bets.
• New Zealand and Italy: manipulating a sports competition became an offence punishable with seven and two to six years in prison respectively.
• India: The Central Bureau of Investigation has created a unit dedicated to sport integrity.
Moreover, States belonging to the Commonwealth or to the Commonwealth of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP), including Brazil and Portugal were the first to publicly back the Sorbonne-ICSS Guiding Principles for Sport Integrity, which outline practical steps and recommendations that should be implemented by sport, government and betting regulators and operators.
It is in this context that the Sorbonne-ICSS Research Programme on Ethics and Sport Integrity is publishing today the final version of its report entitled “Fighting against the Manipulation of Sports Competitions.”
Among its key recommendations, the report calls for the following action to be taken:
- The urgent need for an effective cooperation between all stakeholders without ulterior motives;
- The introduction of a subtle balance between the protection of public order, sport autonomy and the functioning of the markets of sports bets and sports spectacles;
- An uncompromising fight against organised crime and illegal betting;
To download the Sorbonne-ICSS Report “Fighting against the Manipulation of Sports Competitions”, please visit http://sorbonne-icss.univ-paris1.fr/presse/